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Department and Faculty Level Meetings

Glossary of common terms
FCT Faculty Cases Team AHW Academic Honesty Workshop
ACO Academic Conduct Officer PAP Poor Academic Practice
SACO Senior Academic Conduct Officer AM Academic Misconduct

Department level meetings are normally chaired by the ACO for your Department who will discuss alleged offences found in your work as described under Tariff A and B. As part of the meeting invite the FCT will attach each piece of work under investigation, and any supporting documentation relevant to the suspected offence. This might include possible sources of plagiarism, for example, or a summary report written by an expert witness, showing where highlighted sections of your submission are a cause for concern. These documents are provided to ensure that you fully understand why your work is being investigated and to present you with the opportunity to submit a defence to the Chair of the meeting, either in writing or in person. Your letter also invites you to provide a written statement, call witnesses, or have a supporter with you on the day of the meeting if you so wish.

On the day, an administrator from the FCT will be in attendance to take notes during the meeting. The ACO will discuss the alleged offence with you and may seek clarification as to how the errors have occurred within your work. During the meeting, the Chair will likely want to hear from you about how you created your work, what processes you normally use, and ask what you understand about academic honesty. This meeting is your chance to tell the Chair anything you think is relevant in relation to the concerns about your work. You will be given an opportunity to explain your actions and, if appropriate, will be provided with advice on how to address these issues.

Generally, there is one ACO for each Department and two SACOs for each Faculty. The ACO is a named academic member of staff within a Department who acts as a main point of contact for any marker who needs to report a concern about an assessed piece of work. The ACO will then look at these concerns in more detail to decide if the suspected offence needs to be referred to the FCT for formal investigation. The ACO will then liaise with the SACO in their Faculty to agree the nature of the suspected offence and the appropriate level of meeting required. This ensures that all students receive parity of treatment, no matter what Department they belong to.

As part of their roles, the ACO and SACO also chair the meetings within this process. An ACO will normally chair a Department level meeting, and they are also likely to run the Academic Honesty Workshops for their Department. ASACO normally acts as chair for the Faculty level meetings. For a list of the University’s Academic Conduct Officers, please click here.

If you need reasonable adjustments in order to access the meeting and take part, please let us know as soon as possible and we will do our best to accommodate you.

You are not obliged to attend; however, it is helpful if the Panel can speak with you and ask questions. It also allows you to ask any questions you may have and give you the opportunity to respond directly to questions from the Panel. If you are concerned about your understanding of proceedings during the meeting or answering questions, you may arrange to bring a supporter with you. More information on the role of the supporter can be seen below but in short, the supporter is there for moral support, so they are not able to answer questions for you, but they can explain if something is unclear. If you choose to be accompanied by a supporter remotely, we are happy to facilitate this, please forward any information you consider relevant for them to support you, such as a meeting location, video link, or copies of the work in question.

If you are not able to attend the meeting it will proceed without you. Please note, we do not normally rearrange meetings even in the event of technical issues preventing a student from joining the online meeting, therefore you may wish to submit a supporting statement to ensure that the Panel is still able to consider your situation.

The Panel will discuss your written statement (if you have provided one) and will come to a judgment of the basis of the evidence available to them.

A copy of the notes from the meeting (minutes), along with the outcome will be emailed to you within ten working days of the meeting. Please see 12.17.10 of the Academic Conduct and Practice manual for more details. Whilst the academic misconduct meeting is a formal meeting, it is also considered to be an educational opportunity so it will be most valuable to you if you can attend.

You are permitted to invite a supporter to attend your meeting with you, but they are not permitted to attend the meeting in your absence. You are responsible foridentifying a suitable supporter and checking whether they are willing and able to attend your meeting with you.

The supporter can be a member of the University, or Guild of Students/Falmouth and Exeter Students’ Union. They can be another Exeter student or someone in your household. Alternatively, you might consider asking your personal tutor or a module convenor if they would be willing to act as your supporter. The role is defined as follows under Section 12.3.6 of the Teaching Quality Assurance Manual.

“The Supporter is there to provide moral support to the Student and to support the student with asking and answering questions during the meeting. They may also take notes of the meeting for the Student. The Student is expected to speak from themselves, and there is no automatic right for the Supporter to address the Committee. Should a Supporter act beyond this definition, then the Chair may suspend the meeting and ask the Supporter to leave, in the event that the Student is unable to continue the meeting in the absence of the Supporter, then the meeting will continue in the absence of the Student, based on the verbal evidence heard to date and the written documentation. Should the Supporter be asked to leave this meeting, this will not affect the attendance of others at the meeting such as the marker, any witness or Faculty Representative.”

To allow the FCT appropriate time to prepare, you must notify us at least one working day before the meeting if you wish to bring a supporter. If you do not notify us in advance, the admittance of additional attendees is at the discretion of the Chair.

The use of audio recording equipment will not normally be allowed and would only be permitted at the discretion of the Chair. You will receive a set of minutes from the meeting as a record of proceedings, which you can refer to if required.

The Panel will briefly meet before you arrive, so when you join the meeting, you can expect the conversation to move forward quite quickly. Typically, a standard meeting will last between 20 – 40 minutes, though some cases are more complex or may involve more pieces of work. We also appreciate that some people find these meetings more stressful and prefer to take their time to help reduce their anxiety. Therefore, we try to allow time for this wherever possible. The meetings are intended to be learning opportunities for you so make the most of the time you have in the meeting. There will be time for questions at the end, but if you want to clarify any specific points during the discussion, please feel free to do so; the Panel will be happy to advise.